Rantings and Ravings
  Joyful little columns by us.

Smile on MIXX

By: CereCere
With research help from JunJun

For those of you who didnít know, a little over a year ago a company called Mixx Entertainment acquired the rights to translate and publish the Sailormoon Manga into English. Soon afterwards, Mixx announced SM was going to be released through its magazine called MixxZine. Sure, it was what a lot of people expected- it was "Americanized," edited, and it used the names left to it by the DiC anime dub. Many disliked this, but it is somewhat understandable when you consider Mixx was trying to break through to a more mainstream audience. Letís face it: Anime/Manga fans do not make up a very large group, so to make a magazine like Mixx more profitable, it had to break through to a larger audience.

Unfortunately, Mixx did not achieve the inroads into the mainstream market they were hoping for, and they have largely depended on Anime/Manga fans to survive. Recently, Mixx decided to make several changes to its magazine in another hope of once again breaking into the "mainstream" market. These risky decisions, combined with several Public Relations problems, have made the last few months quite a nightmare for Mixx.

The biggest of their decisions was to create a new magazine called "Smile." "Smile" is designed to be for a female audience somewhere between the ages of 12 to 16. The big thing that affects SM fans is Mixx is moving the SM Manga to Smile from MixxZine.

As Mixxís Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Stu Levy states in a recent press release:

"Many of you have already probably noticed that Sailor Moon isn't in this issue of MixxZine. Why? So that we can bring in a bit more edgy stories without compromising the direction of the magazine. For instance, you'll see MixxZine take steps towards publishing editorial content and stories that are more for Mixxers in high-school, college or older. Since Sailor Moon is a younger story, we felt it prevented us from truly moving in this direction aggressively."

Quoted from: http://www.mixxonline.com/mixxonline/usa/company/pr/pr-smile_mz.htm

Well, this decision has, needless to say, ticked off many SM fans who subscribed to MixxZine just to get the SM Manga. Many have said Mixx is trying to take advantage of SM fans in order to help Mixx establish and support a new magazine. Right now this may only be a rumor, but imagine the fans who shelled out $ 21.95 / year (US) to buy a subscription to Mixx only be told they now have to subscribe to another magazine if they want more SM. Sure, you could cancel your Mixx subscription and pick up Smile for $ 19.95 (US) a year, but what if you like the other manga MixxZine carries? This includes Magic Knights Rayearth which is also meant for a female audience, but for some reason it is not moving to Smile. Well, then you could get both magazines for $ 31.95 a year. This might be considered to be a little steep if you are in high school or college, which is the audience Mixx says itís aiming at.

Also I question Mixxís choice of words in the above press release. Sure, SM might not be as gory as Parasyte and Ice Blade (two other Mixx Manga), but I think they should have checked their demographics better when this decision was made. Sure, SM was meant for girls, but it actually appeals to so many more people than 12 to 16 year old girls. Plus, calling your customers "Mixxers?" Come on guys, high school and college students do not want to be referred to by some stupid Saturday morning cartoon kids-fanclub-ish name.

Plus, SM fans who attended the SanDiego anime convention in August 1998 also complained about the handling of Takeuchi Naoko visit by Mixx. There were several reports that the Q and A session was full of problems and several other bad incidents, including the handling of some gifts. Also, most had to find out about her visit through the convention's own advertising and SOS.

Mr. Levy said in a recent interview at http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ that he didnít realize many of the problems until he was told about them later. He blamed the fact that many could not hear Miss Takeuchi at the Q and A session because of her shyness which caused her to avoid speaking directly into the mic. Now this is somewhat believable as it has been reported before that Miss Takeuchi is quite shy when it comes to large public appearances, then throw in the fact she knows little or no English. However, many have not accepted this reasoning. None of the AQ were actually there, so we canít really comment on how bad things at the convention were.

All of this and several other non-SM related complaints have combined to result in the creation of a group called "Eye on Mixx." Eye has called for a boycott of all Mixx products. The group is meant to be a combined voice to send complaints to Mixx, which is a good idea considering how negatively Mixx appears to treat its complaints. Now, we donít support Eye and wonít be linking it here because some of their tactics, especially those in the past have been quite tasteless and unnecessary. Those tactics basically ruined the groupís chances of getting Mixx to change, as Mixx is now too angry with them to listen. The only thing Eye could do now with its boycott is put Mixx out of business.

Many, including I, do not want Mixx to go out of business if it can be helped. However, unless Mixx does something soon to show that it is at least positively listening to its customer complaints rather than attacking just about every critic it has, its days just may be numbered. Many have speculated that unless Mixxís gamble gives it a serious break into the "mainstream market," this time it will not survive for long. It will not have its present subscribers to fall back on this time, as it seems they have alienated a lot of them.

In short, Mixx needs to remember who supported it in the past, and get some serious PR consulting to try and patch this mess up, if it isnít already too late.

  • November 10th, 1998
  • As usual any comment made on this page is that of "The Amazoness Quartet" or one of its members. Tripod has nothing to do with our opinions, etc, lalala...


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